NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I was talking to Jim Cramer about small-cap exploration and production companies and the temptation for investors to try and fish a bottom in some of these with cratering oil prices. I firmly believe that there is little to be gained in searching for value in either the bonds or common shares.
One of the small victories I thought Jim and I could claim was to advise investors to stay away from the smaller, less core-focused U.S. shale producers. For many of these names, it wasn't necessarily about the assets they held and the costs of recovery they might claim. Many of them had debt positions that I continue to see as untenable with oil prices below $70.
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On Tuesday, however, many of these now-destroyed oil names staged a very impressive, albeit one-day, comeback, with many of these now-single-digit shares rallying 20% to even close to 50% for distressed companies like Triangle Petroleum (TPLM) .
In all cases, I couldn't recommend trading the shares of companies I believe will end up on the wrong end of this production and marketshare war in oil.
I am even less excited by the idea of trying to buy very cheaply priced bonds of these distressed names. The one possible upside on owning bonds is in the small prospect of a very troubled sale of the company to a much better capitalized oil company.
While I believe that consolidation in these players is certainly inevitable, I cannot bet on one being the ultimate target of a Chevron (CVX) or an Exxon (XOM) , as opposed to just disappearing and leaving the common shares and the bondholders empty.